10 Best Substitutes for Miso Paste You May Already Have

Running out of miso paste in the middle of your recipe preparation is no fun. This is something I experienced just a few weeks ago while making miso soup for my husband.

Panic quickly set in as I realized that I had no other time to make the soup.

I scoured the internet for a substitute and came up with a list of ten different substitutes that I could use.

After trying a few of them, I found one that tasted almost the same as my usual miso paste.

If you’re ever in a bind and need a substitute for miso paste, give one of these a try!

Substitutes for Miso Paste

  1. Salt
  2. Adzuki Beans
  3. Chickpeas
  4. Soybean Paste
  5. Fish Sauce
  6. Vegetable Stock
  7. Dashi
  8. Tahini Paste
  9. Tamari
  10. Soy Sauce


Salt is a commonly used ingredient in cooking, and it can also be used as a substitute for miso paste.

When substituting salt for miso paste, it is important to use a high-quality salt such as Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.

These types of salt have a higher mineral content than table salt, which can help to enhance the flavor of your dish.

When substituting salt for miso paste, you will need to use less salt than you would miso paste.

This is because salt is a more concentrated flavor than miso paste.

It is also important to note that salt will not add the same umami flavor that miso paste does. However, it will still provide some depth of flavor to your dish.

Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans, also known as red beans, are a common ingredient in Asian cuisine.

They can be used whole in soups and stews, or they can be ground into flour or paste.

Because of their sweetness, they are often used in desserts as well.

In Japan, adzuki bean paste is a popular filling for cakes and other sweets.

It is also used to make red bean soup, a traditional Japanese dish.

While adzuki bean paste is not identical to miso paste, it can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

Adzuki beans have a similar flavor profile to miso, with a salty umami taste.

The paste can be used in soup, on rice, or in other dishes where miso would typically be used.

Because it is sweeter than miso, it may change the flavor of the dish slightly.

For this reason, it is best to use adzuki bean paste in recipes where sweetness is already an ingredient, such as in desserts or sweet soups.


Chickpeas are a great substitute for miso paste. You can use them in any recipe that calls for miso, and they’ll add a delicious, nutty flavor.

Chickpeas are also a good source of protein and fiber, so they’ll help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Another benefit of using chickpeas as a substitute for miso is that they’re less processed than many other types of beans.

This means that they retain more of their nutrients, making them a healthier choice overall.

Soybean Paste

You can use soybean paste as a substitute for miso paste in a variety of recipes.

The benefits of using soybean paste include its high protein content and its ability to lend a hearty flavor to dishes.

Soybean paste is suitable for use in soups, stews, and braised dishes. It is also a good choice for marinating meats and vegetables.

When substituting soybean paste for miso paste, keep in mind that soybean paste is generally saltier than miso paste.

You may need to adjust the amount of salt in your recipe accordingly.

Additionally, soybean paste is darker in color than miso paste, so it may alter the appearance of your dish.

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, and it can be used as a substitute for miso paste in many recipes.

Fish sauce is made from fermented fish and salt, and it has a salty, umami flavor.

It can be used as a condiment or an ingredient in soups, sauces, and marinades.

When substituting fish sauce for miso paste, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The fish sauce is much saltier than miso paste, so you will need to use less of it.
  • The flavor of fish sauce is more assertive than miso paste, so it may dominate the other flavors in your dish.
  • The fish sauce will add a slightly different flavor to your dish, but it will still be delicious!

Vegetable Stock

Many home cooks have started to use vegetable stock as a substitute for miso paste.

While it doesn’t have the same depth of flavor, vegetable stock still provides a boost of umami that can elevate any dish. Plus, it’s widely available and relatively affordable.

When substituting vegetable stock for miso paste, keeping a few things in mind is important.

First, because the vegetable stock is less concentrated than miso paste, you’ll need to use more of it to achieve the same flavor.

Second, depending on the vegetable stock you use, your dish may be saltier than planned.

As a result, it’s always a good idea to taste your dish before serving it.


Dashi, a soup made with Bonito flakes and Kelp, can be used as a substitute for Miso Paste in many recipes.

Dashi has a strong umami flavor, which makes it ideal for use in soup and other dishes where Miso Paste is traditionally used.

Additionally, Dashi is lower in sodium than Miso Paste, making it a healthier option for those who are watching their sodium intake.

Because of its strong flavor, Dashi should be used sparingly in recipes that call for Miso Paste.

In most cases, half the amount of Dashi should be used in place of Miso Paste.

Additionally, Dashi may change the color of the dish you are making, so be aware that your final product may not look exactly like the traditional dish you are trying to replicate.

Tahini Paste

Tahini paste and miso paste. Both of these ingredients are thick, creamy pastes that add a rich flavor to dishes.

Tahini paste is made from ground sesame seeds, while miso paste is made from fermented soybeans.

The main difference is that tahini paste has a slightly nutty flavor, while miso paste is salty and slightly sweet.

However, both of these pastes are versatile enough to be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to sauces and marinades.


Tamari is a type of soy sauce that can be used as a substitute for miso paste. It has a similar flavor profile, with a slightly sweeter and richer taste.

Tamari is also less salty than soy sauce, making it a good choice for those watching their sodium intake.

In addition, tamari is gluten-free, whereas soy sauce contains gluten.

When substituting tamari for miso paste, you may need to add a little extra liquid to the recipe as tamari is thicker than miso paste.

Tamari can be used in any recipe that calls for miso paste, such as soup, stir-fry, or marinade.

It is also a good choice for those who are looking for a vegan or vegetarian option.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a good substitute for miso paste in most cases. It has a similar salty flavor and can be used in many of the same dishes.

The main benefit of using soy sauce as a substitute for miso paste is that it is much easier to find.

Most grocery stores sell soy sauce, whereas miso paste can be more difficult to track down.

When substituting soy sauce for miso paste, it is important to keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.

Soy sauce is also saltier than miso paste, so you may want to use a little less than the recipe calls for.


Miso paste is a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

However, if you can’t find miso paste or are looking for a substitute, there are several options available.

Go try them out for yourself and see which one you like best!